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Overseas Services

The overseas program serves U.S. citizens who cannot use regular print because of blindness or a visual or physical disability living outside of the United States of America. Eligible non-U.S. citizens who are dependents of active-duty military or diplomatic personnel may also apply for service. Overseas patrons have full access to the NLS collection of books and magazines on digital cartridges and in braille for adults and children at all grade levels.

Unlike NLS patrons who live in the United States and receive service from state-level cooperating libraries, NLS patrons living abroad receive service directly from NLS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The overseas service librarian circulates digital talking-book cartridges, playback equipment, and hardcopy braille via postage-free mail, as well as publishes the Overseas Outlook newsletter. Overseas patrons are also eligible for the Braille and Audio Reading Download Service (BARD) and the BARD Mobile app for IOS and Android devices.

Who is eligible?

Overseas patrons must meet basic NLS eligibility requirements and complete an NLS application. In addition, they must supply proof of citizenship. Please review the registration procedures for overseas patrons before contacting the overseas service librarian  to enroll.

Current patrons of NLS network libraries who are planning to live abroad for six months or longer may transfer their service to the overseas library service. Since the Overseas Service is restricted to U.S. citizens only (with an exception for non-citizen dependents of active-duty military or diplomatic personnel), transferring patrons must also supply proof of citizenship, such as a passport or a copy of a birth certificate showing their place of birth.

What happens after I enroll?

The overseas service librarian works directly with overseas patrons to supply them with digital talking-book players free of charge and help them locate and receive library materials.

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